Home > Uncategorized > Healthcare reform per John Whiteside

Healthcare reform per John Whiteside

An interesting argument about the history and role of our Federal Government vis-a-vis health care.

I agree with most of the underlying tenets of his argument especially due to my libertarian leanings. I think the state of this country and the entitlement state though will inevitably lead to a more expansive government as the “solution”. Its only human nature to not let go of something that you got for free. Great quote here:

The Federal Government has no idea what this new legislation will cost.  They already have two social entitlements (Social Security and Medicare) that are bankrupt and yet they want to create a third?  We arrest investment managers when they create similar Ponzi Schemes, yet the Federal Government would have us believe it is fine when they do this?

Read it though if you find yourself on either side of the debate. Some food for thought.

Also, if you like meat, perhaps you can try some of his grass-fed beef. I tried his ground beef, the stuff tasted pretty good.

Some of you think I hate environmentalists and while that is probably true, I do indeed want more organic grown foods, free-range chickens and grass-fed beef out there with as little chemicals and pesticides as possible. I think though right now we are finding it economically unsustainable. I’ve actually tangled with him on a whole host of environmental issues, in part because of conviction, in part because I am a contrarian d!ck, and in part because I really have nothing better to do. That being said, I certainly commend his willingness to explore new avenues to get these products to more doors.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. longley
    March 26, 2010 at 8:24 am

    It should be economically unsustainable, because that would reflect the true cost of our consumption. Higher quality meat means more expensive meat, which in turn means reduced meat in our diets, which in turn makes us healthier. Hooray!

  2. ii
    March 27, 2010 at 11:15 am

    it’s true that chickens and cattle that have lived happier, more fulfilling lives do taste better…

  3. March 28, 2010 at 6:01 am

    not sure that I agree with either of you here fully, not total disagreement either though.

    Longley, you are right that there are probably negative externalities to the consumption of meat. (Cow’s farting is actually somewhat of a problem) But your assumption of course is that the demand curve for higher quality meat would follow the same track as lower quality meat. I think if anything our ability to churn out well-marbled fatty slabs of beef is a response to the American palate.

    II, I think that is true to a certain extent. But a lot of feedlot cows that we consume are more well-marbled than their grass-fed counterparts. They are fed both antibiotics, hormones etc. to augment the fattening process. While this is definitely an unhealthier decision, again its also one that is based on a culture that desires intense marbling in their steaks. While grass-fed beef is certainly a healthier choice, it cannot produce the same little flecks of white that grain-fed cattle possess.

  4. Dan
    March 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    i really like that quote too!

    I like the idea of HCR and expanding coverage to more people but im not at all convinced that this will really be as great as the Dems say it will be. Nor do i think their bill will change the roots of the problem.

  5. orijinalbrand
    March 29, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    BDK, FYI:

    “The responder is clearly not well informed regarding grassfed cattle. Cattle raised exclusively on grass pasture are actually a carbon sink rather than a net producer of green house gas. The symbiotic relationship between soil, grass, and cattle results in formation of humus (soil organic matter) which adsorbs carbon from the atmosphere, particularly via the root nodules of legumes such as clover. The “cattle farts” is a knock on feedlots where cattle eat grain, which acidifies their rumen, resulting in increased methane prodution and release.

    British cattle breeds (Angus, Devon, Hereford, Gallway, etc) were developed to fatten on grass. They produce extremely well marbled beef when grazed on high quality forages. The fat is yellowish in color, which is a result of the high Omega3 fatty acid content as well as multiple other minerals extracted from the soil. This fat is healthy for human consumption while the “white” fat layed down by cattle being fed corn and other grains is not healthy for humans. In the 60 short years since the end of World War II, agri-industry with its attendant feedlots and GMO cattle has invested heavily in mass marketing to convince American consumers that they prefer corn-fed beef to grass-fed beef. Your friend’s response is testimony to the power of marketing and also to the herd instinct in humans. See our website((www.wolfcreek-farm.com)) for links to articles on this subject of “good fat” vs “bad fat.”

    It does not necessarily follow that when Americans begin shifting their beef consumption away from feed-lot beef to grassfed beef they will reduce their beef consumption due to the higher price (I use the term price advisedly, as grassfed beef is infinitely less expensive than feedlot beef when you factor in the costs of environmental degradation and human health decline.) Americans may very well adapt to spending more on beef (a valuable source of high energy proteins), eliminate the purchase of expensive empty calories (processed carbohydrates, sodas, and other forms of high fructose corn syrup), and increase the percentage of their income that goes towards real food, while decreasing their spending on remedial healthcare treatments. It is not important for either environmental or human health that we reduce our beef consumption, rather it is important that we reduce our consumption ar agri-industrial “foodstuffs”, including feedlot beef. -JW”

  6. March 30, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Not sure why even the sentences I write in agreement with grass-fed beef constitutes a rebuttal? I never pretend to be an authority on grass-fed cattle, merely noting the existence of certain negative externalities in our current raising of cattle.

    While I am sure that these British types of beef all are well-marbled, this doesn’t say anything about its relative marbling; the key is comparing the two. You can’t have it both ways and say corn-fed beef constitutes a fattier piece of meat and then try to go back and say its marbling is no different from grass-fed beef. Look at a slab of Kobe beef (more white streaks than red) or steaks at Peter Luger’s, I will promise you none of those cows were not raised entirely on grass. Not sure these preferences are just set because of some massive industrial conspiracy, or herd instinct. I have yet to see any feedlot-based propaganda either.

    As an aside, I’ve eaten extensive amounts of grass-fed beef (Argentina, U.S) . It has a “richer, stronger” flavor, but I also found it to be a bit tougher and less juicy than grain-fed as well as more pricey. I don’t have a clear preference, I think I like both for different reasons.

    • orijinalbrand
      March 30, 2010 at 9:20 am

      Understandable. And no worries, it wasn’t a rebuttal per se. I just think readers would find it interesting.

      I’m jealous you got to eat some of the beef in Argentina. We have an Argentinean doctor who comes to the Charlottesville farmers market and buys about a quarter of an animal pretty often. He was telling us about how generations upon generations of his family did grass fed beef(or rather, there, it was the norm). Anyways my one question i did have was whether you cooked the meet in ARgentina yourself and whether you cooked it the same way you cooked meat in America. I ask this because an interesting thing that the doctor noted, was that in Argentina, you cook the meat for half the time. This is because grass fed beef cooks much faster(as its leaner) so you have to cut down on the cooking time.

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